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Young Thug’s Rico Trial Starts Monday for Alleged Ysl Gang, Racketeering Activity
Prosecutors accuse rapper Young Thug of co-founding a criminal street gang responsible for violent crimes and promoting it through his songs and social media. His trial is expected to begin on Monday. The Atlanta-based musician, the whose given name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was indicted in May along with more than two dozen other people in a broad indictment, with more accusations added in an August indictment.
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What You Need To Know About Young Thug’s Trial
Young Thug and 27 other people have been charged with conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law. 14 of the 28 people are scheduled to stand trial, which begins on Monday and is expected to last many months.
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Young Thug is accused of forming YSL, a street gang that is accused of carrying out many killings, shootings, and carjackings over the course of a decade. Gunna, another rapper, filed an Alford plea last month to one count of conspiracy to violate the RICO Act, which says he maintains his innocence but realizes that accepting punishment is in his best interests.
Who Exactly Is Young Thug?
Young Thug, 31, began rapping as a teenager and has gone on to become a huge success, performing all over the world and launching his own record label, Young Stoner Life, or YSL, of which he is the CEO. Artists on his record label are referred to as the “Slime Family,” and a compilation album titled “Slime Language 2” debuted at number one on the charts in April 2021.
He collaborated with Childish Gambino on the hit “This Is America,” which became the first hip-hop song to win song of the year at the Grammy Awards in 2019. “Stoner” and “Best Friend” are two of his other hits. Young Thug, one of 11 siblings with six children of his own, has deep roots in his hometown of Atlanta and multiple respectable, lawful business operations, according to his lawyers in a May court filing that unsuccessfully sought his release on bond.
What Exactly Is YSL?
According to prosecutors, YSL also has a darker connotation: a violent street gang named Young Slime Life, which was created in 2012 by Young Thug and two others and is associated with the national Bloods group. The alleged gang members included in the indictment are accused of perpetrating violent crimes, such as murders, shootings, and carjackings, in order to raise funds for the gang, improve its reputation, and increase its power and territory.
Prosecutors argue that rap lyrics in the indictment are overt acts “in furtherance of the conspiracy,” including a line from a song Young Thug allegedly published on YouTube: “I’m in the VIP and I got that pistol on my hip, you praying that you live, I’m praying that I hit.” “I never killed anybody, but I had something to do with that body,” another of his lyrics mentioned in the indictment says.
Why Is Young Thug Incarcerated?
Young Thug was charged in August with racketeering conspiracy, participation in criminal street gang activity, as well as drug and gun offenses. Letters from over a dozen music business executives who have worked with Young Thug were attached to that submission. He is described as one of the world’s most successful hip-hop musicians, a loving father and friend, a great contributor to his community, and a nurturing mentor to other artists.
In addition to specific counts, the August indictment includes a broad list of 191 acts that prosecutors claim were undertaken as part of the alleged RICO conspiracy to serve the gang’s objectives between 2013 and 2022.
On that list is an allegation that Young Thug threatened to shoot a security guard who was attempting to persuade him to leave an Atlanta-area mall in July 2015. He and others are accused of possessing illegal substances with the intent to distribute them on several occasions.
In addition, the indictment charges accused gang associates of attempting to assassinate musician YFN Lucci in the Fulton County Jail last February and alleges that an alleged gang associate shot at a bus carrying rapper Lil Wayne in 2015. Young Thug is suspected of co-founding YSL, a purported Bloods gang.
Who Else Is Involved In The Investigation?
Eight people, including Gunna, have already accepted plea bargains in the case, while six others — four of whom do not have lawyers and two who have not been detained – will be tried later, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Gunna entered an Alford plea last month to one count of conspiracy to violate the RICO Act, which means he maintains his innocence but concedes that proceeding to trial will almost certainly end in a guilty finding.